Week 28: Meaning (The Bullet Journal Method Book Club)

Hello Sunshine!

This week we’re going over meaning and how you can find it with the help of your Bullet Journal.


This week’s behind the scenes:

I took the photo, wrote the lettering on said photo, and synthesized this section.

If you’re wondering why these overviews may seem short, it’s because Instagram has a 2,200 character limit and I edit these to fit within that character limit so that I can share the same thing across the board on Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, as well as here. That way you’re getting the same info no matter where you read, although I do tend to add more here as I have some more breathing room and flexibility on my own website :)

Wk_28_Meaning_The Bullet Journal Method Book Club_Tiny Ray of Sunshine.jpg


Pages 141 - 149


Kim’s Summary:

Ryder opens up with a few stories about what supposedly makes us happy and how in succeeding certain goals, it may not make us feel the way we wanted to feel for long. He connects that with the phenomenon of impact bias, which is “the tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of future feeling states.” 

He states, ”The best we can do is guess what will make us happy. So we place blind bets, gambling away our money, our time, and our sanity in the pursuit of happiness. It seems the harder we try to be happy, the more elusive happiness becomes.” Pleasure has replaced happiness in our chase for the next experience or purchase. It’s hedonic adaptation.

In our search for happiness, we lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Ryder remarks that happiness can’t be the goal because it can’t be owned since it’s a transient emotion, blessedly so. “Happiness is the result of our actions directed toward other goals.”

For those among the happiest in the world, in Okinawa, Japan, the concept of ikigai, which is “the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing” is their secret to happiness. With this, Ryder shares, “Maybe we have it all backward. It seems that in our pursuit of happiness, we’re taking our focus off of what could be meaningful. But it’s in the pursuit of what is meaningful that happiness seems most likely to appear.”

Meaning and doing what is meaningful is different for everyone because it feels different for everyone. “What does feeling have to do with meaning? Arguably everything. There is no intellectualizing what resonates with you…”

We can discover what is meaningful through what “shines forth” through curiosity. But before setting any goals, define what leading a meaningful life is to you. Ryder offers the Tale of Two Lives exercise for perspective.

Discussion Points:

- Have you ever reached success at something and felt empty afterwards?

- What brings you happiness? Does meaning help?

This week’s action list:

- Create a “Two Lives” Collection (149). If you’re comfortable with it, share what you learned from this exercise, you don’t have to share any details of what you wrote. 

Your thoughts:

Share your thoughts about this week’s topic in the comments below. Feel free to respond to this week’s discussion points.

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